Saturday, 19 August 2017

A Bit of Sage, Coriander and Masses of TriColoured Jasmine


Salvia officinalis
What would you say to a herb that can remove grease from plates?
Not only that, drinking tea made from the leaves of this herb helps treat sore throats and coughs; often by gargling.
All these attributes are for the herb sage.
To get grease off your dinner plates without using harsh chemicals all you need to do is macerate some fresh sage leaves and rub them on the plates, and voila', clean plates.
But did you know that the world's best sage comes from the Dalmation coast growing amongst rocks on the island of Kornati?
Find out more by listening to the podcast.
I'm talking with Ian Hemphill

Scientifically known as Salvia officinalis, sage is closely related to rosemary, and they’re often considered “sister herbs.
Sage grows best in sandy, alkaline soil.
It grows up to 75 cm in height and has woody, branching stems.
Its pebble-like patterned, aromatic leaves are grey-green, with a soft surface and fine hair-like filaments growing on either side.
During summer, the violet-blue flowers attract bees.
If you have any questions about sage the herb, why not email us or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


Coriander or Coriandrum sativum?

Is Coriander really Cilantro or is that just what Americans call it?
Well, it’s just a bit of a technical difference to confuse us poor gardeners.
Cilantro refers to the leaves of the plant and coriander refers to the seeds.
In Australia we call the leaves and the seeds coriander and some people even call it Chinese parsley.
So coriander leaf is nothing else but cilantro.
People either hate it or love Coriander because it does have a pungent citrus flavour to the leaves.
Coriander flowers belong in the Apiaceae or carrot family, where Parsley, dill and carrots belong.
Coriander has been grown for over 3,000 years.

Did you know that about half a litre of coriander seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen?
Because this plant doesn’t grow wild in Egypt, this suggests that coriander was grown in the gardens of ancient Egyptians.
The Chinese once believed it gave you immortality and in the Middle ages it was used as part of a love potions. \
What is Coriander?
Coriander is a very familiar herb that we are used to seeing at the greengrocers and in the supermarket.
It’s called an annual herb because it flowers, sets seed then dies in under a year..

So why should we grow Coriander?

Heaps of Coriander leaves and seeds are used in curries, tagines and many other Asian dishes.
In fact the whole herb, including the roots can be ground up to make Green Curry paste.

Now here’s a big tip:
Always grow coriander from seed, sown in the exact spot you want it to grow as it absolutely HATES being transplanted.
Transplanting coriander stresses it so that it goes straight to seed and then it dies. And you never get any leaves at all!
Coriander gets a has a big taproot as it grows so growing it in a pot won’t work either, it’ll go straight to seed as well.,
For sub-tropical and arid zones, you have August to September;
And in temperate districts, sow the seeds from September until the end of November,
In cool temperate zones, October to November,
Sow your seeds about 1 cm deep, cover them and keep them moist.
Whether or not you sow them in rows, scatter them amongst your other veggies, or use them to grow as a shade plant for your lettuce, it really doesn’t matter.
Coriander takes a couple of weeks to germinate, so go do it after my program.
Coriander grow fairly big, about 50 cm or 2 feet tall.

Big Tip: Grasshoppers don’t like coriander, so plant it around the spinach to stop the grasshoppers eating holes in the leaves.
You want about 5 cm between the plants if you grow it for the leaves..
Leave a few plants to go to seed, yes, on purpose so you have a continuous supply.
When your plants is big enough, take the leaves off from the base of the plant.
Just make sure the plant is big enough to cope and leave some leaves on it so it can continue to grow.
As soon as that flower stalk appears, your coriander plant stops making more

Just remember when coriander plants get stressed, or in hot weather, or once they reach a certain age, they stop making leaves and instead start growing a tall flower stalk. 
So it’s a good idea to-sow some coriander seeds every few weeks during the growing season. 

Coriander flowers arean important food source for beneficial insects.

It’s a good idea to leave in a few plants that have gone to flower because the Coriander flowers are an important food source for beneficial insects, especially little parasitic wasps and predatory flies.

To attract many beneficial insects you want lots and lots of coriander flowers why not sprinkle some coriander and parsley seeds through your other vegetables under your fruit trees and in any other place you can fit them.

Keep watering and feeding your coriander plants well, and wait for the flower to develop and set seeds.

In hot weather this may take as little as 4 - 6 weeks from when you first put the seed in the ground.

Fresh cilantro (coriander) should be stored in the refrigerator in a zip lock bag or wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. Use as early as possible since it loses flavour and nutrients quickly if kept for longer periods.

Why Is It Good For You?

Coriander contains no cholesterol; but is rich in anti-oxidants and dietary fibre.
The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

It’s also rich in many vital vitamins like folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin- A, beta carotene, vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Coriander leaves provides 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C.

Coriander is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K; provides about 258% of DRI.



Mass Planting Series
Mass planting for large and small gardens part 1
Would you think that mass planting a garden would be something easy to do?
On the surface it sounds easy; just pick a couple of types of plants that you like and away you go, would that be right?
Mass planting for large gardens: Scampston, England photo M Cannon
The answer is no, because visually you might end up with such a boring garden as to be exasperating.
Have you heard the rule “ the greater amount of texture you use the louder your garden reads visually?”
Let’s find out about this wonderful rule.
I'm talking with Garden Designer, Peter Nixon, Director of
If you have a large expanse of garden with all the same colour green , the same leaf shape and the same texture, the garden will be homogenous and even boring.

You'll be asking "Where's my beautiful garden?"

Find plants that you like but try and like ones with different leaf shapes, colours and textures when you’re doing planting on a biggish scale.

Peter suggests as an example of texture and leaf contrast, Poa Eskdale with Opuntia Burbank Spineless.

If you want mass planting to hide the fence, try
Viburnum odoratissium "Dense Fence," or Quick Fence.

As Peter says, even if it’s a small garden, don’t put lots of little plants in, but less plants that are bigger works better.


Tricolour Jasmine

Last week I asked if you liked the colour pink in your garden?
This next plant doesn’t have significant flowers but does have pink in it’s leaves.
Better still, it grows in shade, under trees and in other difficult spots where you might find it hard to get something to grow.

Let’s find out about this plant.
I'm talking with the plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner.

Tricolour Jasmine is nothing like the Chinese Star Jasmine because it doesn’t have those perfumed flowers and doesn’t need a whip and a chair to keep it under control.
Ahem, whip and chair borrowed from Peter Nixon Garden Designer that is.
As long as you don’t put it into full sun or afternoon sun, you won’t get burnt leaves.
Another one of those low maintenance plants that horticulturalists say doesn’t really exist. But here it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment